Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 7, 1892

Grainger, Brother and Sister

Adelaide, Australia

October 24, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in 2SM 240-245.

Dear Brother and Sister Grainger,

Although I have not written to any of you in the Healdsburg school, I have not forgotten you. I shall be much pleased to hear how you are prospering. We seem to be here in a far-off country, yet we are nigh the connecting links which bind us to Jesus Christ, the Great Center. One in Christ we have nourishment from the same parent stock. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 1

I have been passing through great trial in pain and suffering and helplessness, but through it all I have obtained a precious experience more valuable to me than gold. When I was first convinced that I must give up my cherished plans to visit the churches in Australia and New Zealand, I felt to seriously question whether it was my duty to leave America and come to this far-off country. My sufferings were acute. Many sleepless hours of the nights I spent in going over and over our experience since we left Europe for America, and it has been a continual scene of anxiety, suffering, and burden-bearing. Then I said, What does it all mean? 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 2

I carefully reviewed the history of the past few years and the work the Lord gave me to do. Not once had He failed me, and often [He] manifested Himself to me in a marked manner, and I saw I had nothing of which to complain, but [instead], precious things running like threads of gold through all my experience. The Lord understood better than I the things that I needed, and I felt that He was drawing me very nigh to Himself and I must be careful not to dictate to God as to what He should do with me. This unreconciliation was at the beginning of my sufferings and helplessness, but it was not long until I felt that my affliction was a part of God’s plan. I found that by partly lying and partly sitting I could place myself in position to use my crippled hands, and although suffering much pain I could do considerable writing. Since coming to this country I have written sixteen hundred pages of paper of this size. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 3

Many nights during the past nine months I was enabled to sleep but two hours a night, and then at times darkness would gather about me; but I prayed and realized much sweet comfort in drawing nigh to God. The promises, “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you;” “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him,” were fulfilled to me. [James 4:8; Isaiah 59:19.] I was all light in the Lord. Jesus was sacredly near, and I found the grace given sufficient, for my soul was stayed upon God and I was full of grateful praise to Him who loved me and gave Himself for me. I could say from a full heart, “I know whom I have believed.” 2 Timothy 1:12. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. Through Jesus Christ I have come off more than conqueror, and held the vantage ground. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 4

I cannot read the purpose of God in my affliction, but He knows what is best; and I will commit my soul, body, and spirit to Him as unto my faithful Creator. “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12. If we educated and trained our souls to have more faith, more love, greater patience, and a more perfect trust in our heavenly Father, I know we would have more peace and happiness day by day as we pass through the conflicts of this life. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 5

The Lord is not pleased to have us fret and worry ourselves out of the arms of Jesus. More is needed of the quiet waiting and watching combined. We think unless we have feeling that we are not in the right track, and we keep looking within for some sign befitting the occasion; but the reckoning is not of feeling but of faith. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 6

When we comply with the written Word, according to our best knowledge, then we are to walk by faith whether we feel any special gratification or not. We do dishonor God when we show we do not trust Him after He has given us such wondrous evidences of His great love in giving His only begotten Son Jesus to die, our sacrifice, that we may believe in Him, rest our hopes in Him, and trust in His Word without a question or doubt. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 7

Keep looking unto Jesus, offering up silent prayers in faith, taking hold of His strength, whether you have any manifest feeling or not. Go right forward as if every prayer offered was lodged in the throne of God and responded to by the One whose promises never fail. Go right along singing and making melody to God in your hearts, even when depressed by a sense of weight and sadness. I tell you as one who knows, light will come, joy will be ours, and the mists and clouds will be rolled back. And we pass from the oppressive power of the shadow and darkness into the clear sunshine of His presence. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 8

If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have—the great mercy, forbearance, and love of God—we would daily have greater strength. Have not the precious words spoken by Christ, the Prince of God, an assurance and power that should have great influence upon us that our heavenly Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children? 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 9

We should daily dedicate ourselves to God and believe He accepts the sacrifice, without examining whether we have that degree of feeling that corresponds with our faith. Feeling and faith are as distinct as the east is from the west. Faith is not dependent on feeling. We must earnestly cry to God in faith, feeling or no feeling, and then live our prayers. Our assurance and evidence is God’s Word, and after we have asked we must believe without doubting. I praise Thee, O God, I praise Thee. Thou hast not failed me in the performance of Thy Word. Thou hast revealed Thyself unto me and I am thine to do Thy will. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 10

Watch as faithfully as did Abraham lest the ravens or any birds of prey alight upon your sacrifice and offering to God. Every thought of doubt should be so guarded that it will not see the light of day by utterance. Light always flees from words which honor the powers of darkness. The life of our risen Lord should be daily manifested in us. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 11

What is our path to heaven? Is it a road with every inviting convenience? No, it is a path that is narrow and apparently inconvenient; it is a path of conflict, of trial, of tribulation and suffering. Our Captain, Jesus Christ, has hid nothing from us in regard to the battles we are to fight. He opens the map before us and shows us the way. “Strive,” He says, “to enter in at the straight gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” [Luke 13:24.] “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” [Matthew 7:13.] “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” John 16:33. The apostle echoes the words of Christ, “Through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom.” Acts 14:22. Well, is it the discouraging aspect we are to keep before the mind’s eye? 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 12

Is there nothing of sufficient weight to induce the mind to dwell on high and holy attractions? Yes, Jesus leads the way. Who is He? He is the only begotten Son of God. “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.” [Isaiah 11:1-4.] 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 13

Oh what great mischief has been done by reports that were acted upon without suitable measures being taken to learn of their correctness. Such measures have discouraged souls and driven them from the truth. “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity, for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” [Verses 4, 5.] 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 14

This is Jesus, the life of every grace, the life of every promise, the life of every ordinance, the life of every blessing. Jesus is the substance, the glory and fragrance, the very life itself. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] Then the royal path cast up for the ransomed to walk in is not discouraging darkness. Our pilgrimage would indeed be lonely and painful were it not for Jesus. “I will not,” He says, “leave you comfortless.” [John 14:18.] Then let us gather every registered promise. Let us repeat them by day and meditate upon them in the night season, and be happy. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 15

“And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” [Isaiah 12:1-6.] 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 16

Is not this indeed a royal path we are travelling, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in? Can there be provided a better path? A safer way? No! No! Then let us practice the instruction given. Let us see our Saviour as our refuge, as our shield on our right hand to defend us from the arrows of Satan. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 17

Temptations will assail, cares and darkness will oppress. When heart and flesh are ready to fail, who throws around us His everlasting arms? Who supplies the precious promise? Who brings to our remembrance words of assurance and hope? Whose grace is given in rich measure to those who ask it in sincerity and in truth? Who is it imputes to us His righteousness and saves us from sin? Whose light rolls back the fog and mist and brings us into the sunshine of His presence? O who but Jesus? Then love Him, then praise Him. “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” [Philippians 4:4.] Is Jesus today a living Saviour? Then, “If ye ... be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” [Colossians 3:1.] We are risen with Christ. Christ is our life. Through His mercy and gracious love we are declared to be chosen, adopted, pardoned and justified. Then let us magnify the Lord. 7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 18